wild mushroom brown butter gnocchi with truffle oil

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A few weekends ago, my family and I went to Park Tavern for dinner after the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition at Fort Mason.  Having never truly mastered the taste and dump technique necessary to get through a wine tasting of this magnitude {there were over 200 wine makers offering tastings}, we were all three sheets come dinnertime.  But even through the wine induced haze, I had the good sense to order the wild mushroom gnocchi.  It was swoon-worthy – a variety of sauteed wild mushrooms were perched on top of perfectly billowy potato gnocchi and finished with truffle oil.  I think all of my relatives agreed because by the time my plate was passed around the table to be tasted by all {as per usual in our family}, there wasn’t much left.

I was so excited to try to recreate this dish at home.  I picked up some yellow trumpets, maitakes and white beech mushrooms from Far West Fungi.  I sauteed them simply with some butter, shallots, garlic and parsley.  To push this dish totally over the top, as soon as the gnocchi came out of the boiling water, I immediately tossed them in warm brown butter.  After spooning the sauteed mushrooms on top, I annointed the entire dish with black truffle oil.  Oh man, this dish kind of blew my mind – the combination of gnocchi and truffle was absolute perfection.

Don’t be intimidated by homemade potato gnocchi – it’s really not as complex as you might think.  I do think the key to making the whole process less frustrating is to invest in a potato ricer {kind of looks like a huge garlic press} which “rices” the potatoes into a fine, shredded consistency that makes for incredibly light gnocchi.  Another tip – go light on the flour.

Recipes continued after the jump…

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Recipes

Wild Mushroom Brown Butter Gnocchi with Truffle Oil

  • Homemade potato gnocchi {see recipe below}, or store-bought if you want to save time
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons shallots, minced
  • 2 small garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1 pound of wild mushrooms {try to use at least 3 different varieties}
  • Truffle oil

Prepare gnocchi according to directions below or according to package directions if using store-bought.

In a large skillet over medium-low heat, add olive oil and 4 tablespoons butter.  Add shallots and garlic and saute until shallots are translucent and soft, about 10 minutes.  Add mushrooms and parsley.  Season with kosher salt and black pepper to taste.  Saute until mushrooms are soft and tender, about 10 minutes.

In separate small saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat until the butter solids begin to brown and the mixture smells nutty.  As soon as desired color and scent are achieved, immediately pour brown butter into the serving bowl.  Add cooked and drained gnocchi and toss to coat.  Spoon mushroom mixture over gnocchi and toss.  To serve, drizzle with truffle oil {don’t go too crazy as it should be somewhat subtle – I used about 1 teaspoon for the entire serving bowl}.

Homemade Potato Gnocchi

Adapted slightly from 101 cookbooks

  • 2 pounds Russet potatoes {about 2 large Russet potatoes}
  • 1/4 c. egg, lightly beaten {for me, this was 1 egg}
  • 1 c. all purpose flour
  • fleur de sel or other fine grain sea salt

Fill a large pot with cold water.  Salt the water, then cut potatoes in half and place them in the pot.  Bring the water to a boil and cook the potatoes until tender throughout, this takes roughly 30-40 minutes.

Remove the potatoes from the water one at a time with a slotted spoon.  Place each potato piece on a large cutting board and peel it using a paring knife before moving on to the next potato.  Also, peel each potato as soon as possible after removing from the water {without burning yourself}.  Be mindful that you want to work relatively quickly so you can mash the potatoes when they are hot.  To do this you can either push the potatoes through a ricer {which I did} or deconstruct them one at a time on the cutting board using the tines of a fork – run the fork down the sides of the peeled potato creating a nice, fluffy potato base to work with.  Don’t over-mash – you are simply after an even consistency with no noticable lumps.

Let the potatoes cool spread out across the cutting board for about 5-10 minutes, or long enough so that the potatoes have cooled enough that the egg won’t cook when it is incorporated into the potatoes.  When you are ready, pull the potatoes into a soft mound using a large pastry scraper.  Drizzle with the beaten egg and sprinkle 3/4 cup of the flour across the top.  Using the pastry scraper, incorporate the flour and eggs into the potatoes until the egg is incorporated throughout and you can see the hint of yellow from the yolk.  Scrape underneath and fold, scrape and fold until the mixture is a light crumble.  Very gently, with a feathery touch knead the dough.  This is also the point you can add more flour {a sprinkle at a time} if the dough is too sticky.  I found that I didn’t need to add any additional flour, but this may have been because I used 2 large Russet potatoes that were closer to 1.5 pounds total.  The dough should be moist but not sticky.  It should feel almost billowy.  Cut dough into 8 pieces. Gently roll each 1/8th of dough into a snake-shaped log, roughly the thickness of your thumb.  Use a knife to cut pieces every 3/4-inch. Dust with a bit more flour.

To shape the gnocchi hold a fork in one hand and place a gnocchi pillow against the tines of the fork, cut ends out. With confidence and an assertive {but light} touch, use your thumb and press in and down the length of the fork.  The gnocchi should curl into a slight “C” shape, their backs will capture the impression of the tines as tiny ridges {good for catching sauce later}.  Set each gnocchi aside, dust with a bit more flour if needed, until you are ready to boil them.

Bring a fresh pot of water to a boil. Cook the gnocchi in batches by dropping them into the boiling water roughly twenty at a time.  Once they all have risen to the top, cook for another 2-4 minutes, or until gnocchi are tender when tested.  Fish them out of the water a few at a time with a slotted spoon or spider into the serving bowl containing the brown butter {see recipe above}.  Continue cooking in batches until all the gnocchi are done.

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35 Responses to wild mushroom brown butter gnocchi with truffle oil

  1. Fiery Ginger says:

    There is almost nothing better than using fresh mushrooms, and then kicking it into high gear by adding truffle oil on top of that. Great looking dish!

  2. Wonderful dish, almost nothing better than fresh mushrooms, add in gnocchi and truffle oil and it makes for a beautiful and tasty dish and elegant too!

    • fleurdeselsf says:

      Thank you! I think I love gnocchi with all sauces, but this one felt particularly season appropriate. Will have to try making them again in the summer with a simple tomato and basil sauce.

  3. chef mimi says:

    Your gnocchi look incredible. Your dish could be my last meal!

  4. UltraViolet says:

    I love mushroom ravioli – this looks tasty too!

    • fleurdeselsf says:

      Yes, mushroom ravioli are delicious! I have tried making ravioli numerous times now and can never get the dough as thin as good Italian restaurants do, and now I am afraid to make it! Will have to conquer my fear one of these days! xo

      • UltraViolet says:

        The pasta roller is key- last time I made ravioli I had to roll it out by hand and it was super thick. I’ve decided to embrace it though – it was still tasty!

  5. Darya says:

    Your gnocchi are perfect! And I love the whole dish. Looks fantastic

    • fleurdeselsf says:

      Thank you Darya! I have tried making potato gnocchi once before and it was an utter disaster – they were heavy and disgusting. I really do think the keys are a potato ricer and to use as little flour and egg as possible. xo

  6. Amazing! So impressed by the look of that gnocchi!

  7. smileycook says:

    This looks soo delicious and I do not even like mushrooms! LOL

  8. yum..what beautiful fresh mushrooms…and i just adore truffle oil…will have to make this sometime soon…lovely post..sarah

  9. Oh, Lindsay, this looks absolutely delicious! And the addition of brown butter combined with the truffle oil? I can practically taste it now! And great job on the shots — just gorgeous! And you made me laugh with the “we were all three sheets come dinnertime” — how does one NOT inevitably get sauced at these mega wine tastings? Great post as always, Lindsay; can’t wait for the next =) xo

    • fleurdeselsf says:

      Thank you Christina! Oh man, I am never NOT three sheets after any wine tasting – somehow I always manage to talk my way into extra pours, which is not good for anyone! :) Glad you understand this plight! xo

  10. petit4chocolatier says:

    Stunning meal!!

  11. Reblogged this on Haute Mom Living and commented:
    OMG!!! food of the g-ds!

  12. This looks so good. I’ve been wanting gnocchi lately but I couldn’t decide what to do with them. This hits the nail on the head.

  13. Helena says:

    Very inviting and elegant ! Your gnocchi look just perfect. Sadly I never manage to make them firm enough !

    • fleurdeselsf says:

      Thank you Helena! Do you typically use egg and flour when you make your gnocchi? I think the key is to use a potato ricer and as little flour and egg as possible, just enough to bind everything together…Hope your next attempt is a success! xo

      • Helena says:

        Thanks for your advices and support ! Actually each time I’ve made some they turned out better than the previous ones, so I hold out hope :D

      • fleurdeselsf says:

        Yes! Same for me – everything is an evolution, a process of trusting yourself more. I struggle with it too! Especially with homemade bread! xo

  14. Pingback: homemade gnocchi with gorgonzola sauce and toasted walnuts | { fleur de sel }

  15. Pingback: gnocchi belli – a collection of beautiful gnocchi recipes | { fleur de sel }

  16. Oh my goodness. This recipe has just about everything good and magical in the world involved in it. Must muster the gumption to try it!

    • fleurdeselsf says:

      Haha thank you so much for your kind words! I sort of agree! :) And thanks so much for stopping by! Please do give it a try – I do think that a potato ricer for the gnocchi resulted in the best, pillow-light gnocchi and highly recommend using one! xoxo

  17. gwen says:

    I can’t wait to make this recipe for my sister’s birthday! Do you have any tips on making the gnocchi ahead of time?

    • fleurdeselsf says:

      Hi Gwen! Thanks so much for stopping by! Although I haven’t tried making gnocchi ahead of time, I don’t see why you couldn’t. I recommend making the tough and shaping the gnocchi, and then placing them all on a large baking tray lightly dusted with flour or semolina (to prevent them from sticking together) and then cover with a very slightly damp, clean kitchen towel. Just leave the tray out in a cool place (don’t think there is any need to refrigerate). Then, just boil them right before you want to serve them, and you should be good to go! Best of luck to you!

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